- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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We were promised Jeremy Maclin news Tuesday and didn't get it. As of this morning, neither Maclin nor the Philadelphia Eagles have issued any kind of statement on the mysterious medical condition that has kept the star wide receiver from practicing in training camp. You won't get speculation here, and if I had any real information on it I'd tell you. But the longer this goes, the more it puts Maclin in jeopardy of missing the start of the season. And while his status as a football player obviously isn't as important as his personal health, we don't know anything about the latter except that it's not good enough to allow him to play. So that's all we can write about right now.
Rich Hoffman says protecting Michael Vick's blind side is the key to the Eagles' season. Right tackle Winston Justice is still hurt. Ryan Harris, his apparent replacement, is hurt. King Dunlap, one of the largest human beings I've ever seen, is slated to start there in Thursday night's preseason game. And they have a rookie, first-round draft pick Danny Watkins, in line to start at right guard. Hoffman's right. These are questions they need to answer.
Hall of Fame Eagles receiver Pete Pihos died Tuesday at the age of 87 after a long bout with Alzheimer's disease. The story of Pihos' final years is an achingly familiar one we've read before about the later lives of former NFL players. Dementia. Swindled out of a bunch of money. These guys get old and forgotten and suffer for having played NFL football. It's why retired players groups were working so hard to make sure they were taken care of in the recent labor negotiations.
Jerry Jones says that if Felix Jones has a good year, so will the Cowboys. With those other backs hurt, and based on a creeping suspicion, I was already sliding ol' Felix up my fantasy draft board a bit. Hope Jerry didn't let the secret out. What's that? He says this every year? Oh, right.
Igor Olshansky says he doesn't care whether he starts or not, which could be a good thing, since it looks as though he might not. The Cowboys believe they have a lot of defensive end depth now with Kenyon Coleman having joined the mix and Jason Hatcher freed from his elevator prison.
New York Giants
The Giants signed Rhys Lloyd, who's a kicker who only kicks off and never kicks field goals. My first thought was that they only did this because Lawrence Tynes has that thigh injury and they need someone who can kick off in their preseason game Monday night. Then I read that they tried to sign Lloyd last year, so I thought maybe there was more to it. Then I remembered that nobody's going to need a kickoff-only kicker anymore because every kicker in the league is going to be able to drill the ball through the back of the end zone now that kickoffs have been moved up to the 35-yard line. So I'm back to thinking it's that first thing I said.
Mike Vaccaro says the return of Osi Umenyiora isn't the only reason to feel good about the Giants' defense going into this year. Man, the narrative on the Giants has shifted in just one week, hasn't it?
Kevin Barnes is a guy who could play a big role in the Redskins' secondary this year. With Phillip Buchanon suspended for the first four games, Barnes will get a lot of chances to play, even if it's only as the nickel corner with DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson as the starters. Stephen Whyno takes a look at Barnes and what he's up to as he prepares for the season.
Roy Helu tells Brian Tinsman that he learned a lot in his first NFL preseason game and is looking forward to putting those lessons into practice in the next one. He also says Tim Hightower has been great working with the younger backs on the roster, which I found kind of funny because Hightower is only 25 years old. I mean, it's great he's working with the less experienced guys and all, but a veteran at 25? Gives you an idea why they were fired up to be able to get him.
Enjoy the day, folks. I'll have a few things up before my flight to Dallas. And who knows? Maybe we get that Maclin news ...